During the weekend from 7 to 9 July, 2023, Formula 1 arrives at the Silverstone circuit for the British Grand Prix. The Grand Prix represents the tenth round of the season one week after the Austrian Grand Prix, the ninth round of the championship. For the third time this season, the world championship provides for a race to be held one week after the other. The championship is still on stage in Europe with the fourth round of the season scheduled in the old continent, the second in a row. The British Grand Prix is the second of a total of four rounds scheduled in July, up to before the summer break, and the tenth round of the season, as in the previous championship. The world championship disputes a race on the type of permanent track for the second consecutive race weekend. The contract for the British Grand Prix in the Formula 1 world championship calendar, again at the Silverstone circuit, is valid until the following season. Sponsor of the Grand Prix for this edition is, for the first time, the Saudi national hydrocarbon company Aramco. Unlike the 2022 calendar, the British Grand Prix is placed after the Austrian Grand Prix, as happened last time in 2021. This edition is attended by 480.000 spectators during the race weekend, which represents an all-time record for the Grand Prix. The previous record belonged to the previous edition of 2022, characterized by 400.000 spectators over the weekend. Present in the calendar of the Formula 1 world championship since the inaugural edition of 1950 and valid as a race for the category since the same year, the Grand Prix of Great Britain, together with those of Monaco, Switzerland, Belgium, France and Italy, including a edition of the Indianapolis 500 valid for the world championship, it was one of the races that characterized the calendar of the inaugural edition of the Formula 1 world championship. The Grand Prix is the only one, together with that of Italy, to have been present on the calendar of the world championship since the first season of 1950. It sees its dispute in the season calendar in the traditional month of July, for its seventy-eighth edition, the seventy-fourth valid for the world championship. For this Grand Prix, Pirelli, the sole tyre supplier, offers, in light of the technical characteristics of the circuit, the choice between C1, C2 and C3 compound tyres, the type of tire that characterizes the central range of the type of tires made available by the Italian company.
Since the 2019 edition of the Grand Prix, the company has always established the same type of tyres for this event. It is established for the third time this season, the first since the Spanish Grand Prix. Pirelli also names the tires for the following Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix. The new specification contains materials already developed for 2024 and which make them more resistant, without affecting the other technical parameters. The teams have already tested two additional sets of hard tires in the first two free practice sessions of the Spanish Grand Prix. The Federation establishes the two traditional zones where the DRS can be used, in use since the 2011 season when the mobile device was introduced in the category. The first area is located between Turns 5 and 6, with a detection point set before Turn 3. The second area is located between Turns 14 and 15, with a point for determining the gap between riders established at Turn 11. Compared to the 2022 edition, some changes have been made at the circuit. The gravel present in the run-off area of Turn 1 has been replaced with an asphalt section measuring 40x40 metres. New concrete walls with debris fences have been placed between Turn 5 and Turn 6 on the left hand side. At Turn 6 and Turn 9 the crash barriers have been replaced with new tires including new conveyor belts. At Turn 7 on the left hand side the gravel section has been shortened by five metres, while that of Turn 15 has been extended by eight over a length of approximately 120 metres. Between curve 13 and curve 14 on the left side the crash barriers have been realigned for a length of approximately 260 metres. New tarmac is present on the left as you exit Turn 14 which connects onto the straight up to Turn 15. At Turn 16 the curb on the left hand side has been shortened by five metres. Some news enliven the paddock as we approach this race weekend. The local Williams team run with a special livery to celebrate the milestone of the 800th Grand Prix, which takes place at the next one in Hungary. The livery used appears first in this round, as it was initially supposed to be their special finish line before the cancellation of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. The livery will be used in Budapest with a special sports emblem, as it pays homage to their British heritage and their founder, Sir Frank Williams. Another manufacturer of the same nationality, McLaren, is contesting the appointment with a special chrome livery. This was used from 2006 to 2014 and was the protagonist of the manufacturer's last triumph, the 2008 drivers' title with Lewis Hamilton.
The livery is part of the team's ongoing 60th anniversary celebrations, which has seen the Formula 1 team already compete in other historic liveries, such as at the Monaco Grand Prix, notably to commemorate the iconic Triple Crown accolade awarded for victories in the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Even the third local manufacturer in the championship, Aston Martin, compete with a slightly modified livery in their own colors, thanks to the new sponsorship with Valvoline, a US company that produces and distributes chemical additives. Former Formula 1 driver, Briton Derek Warwick, is appointed assistant commissioner for the race. He has already performed this function in the past, most recently at the Spanish Grand Prix. It is the German car manufacturer Mercedes, as in the previous race, that supplies the safety car and the medical car. Before the start of the first free practice session on Friday, the Federation establishes that if the drivers do not go through Turn 18 correctly, they will see their lap time and the following one immediately canceled by the race direction. The third unit relating to the internal combustion engine, the turbocharger, the MGU-H and MGU-K was installed on the cars of Max Verstappen, Sergio Pérez, George Russell and Nyck De Vries. The fourth unit of the first three components is installed on Nico Hülkenberg's car. The fourth unit relating to the exhaust system was installed on the cars driven by Verstappen, Pérez, Russell and De Vries, and the fifth unit of the same component on Hülkenberg’s car. All drivers are not penalized on the starting grid as the new components installed are among those that can be used in the maximum number established by the technical regulations. The third gearbox and second transmission is installed on Pérez' car, and the fourth unit of the same components on Hülkenberg's car. Both drivers are not penalized on the starting grid as the new components installed are among those that can be used in the maximum number established by the technical regulations. In the McLaren team, British driver Lando Norris is enthusiastic about racing at home and is confident of the progress made by the team after the race in Austria:
"Silverstone, let's go! It's my home race, the team's home race, and one of my favourite weekends of the whole year. The fans are amazing, and I can't wait to see all the papaya in the crowd, particularly with the amazing Google Chrome livery we have on the car. The P4 in Austria was such a feel-good moment for everyone. The car felt good, and I enjoyed racing some of the front running cars. I want to thank the team back at the factory once again for working hard on this upgrade package. I've been back in the sim preparing for the weekend, working on optimising the upgrade package further and I'm excited to get more time in the car across the weekend. While we've still got a lot of work to do, hopefully we'll end this double-header on a high and get some more points for the team".
Oscar Piastri is thrilled to be here at the home race for McLaren and is encouraged by the package of updates brought by the team:
"I'm really excited for my first McLaren home race. Everyone at the team is looking forward to it and it will be great to see all the McLaren fans out there. Austria was bittersweet, but it was encouraging to see the improvements with the upgrades and for the team to get some good points. I've already been back at the MTC in the sim this week, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the new package feels on track. We'll be looking good in the special Google Chrome livery, and hopefully we can have another positive weekend".
Andrea Stella, McLaren’s Team Principal, outlines the team's objective for McLaren's home race and is confident that the updates brought to Austria can also work at this circuit:
"The whole team is looking forward to McLaren's home race and to get out on track in front of our home fans and many of our people. For many it is the only time they will have the opportunity to see our cars live on track. We come back from Austria with 12 points for the team, a very good result for us. It was good to see the upgrades performing well on Lando's car. We'll have the same upgrades fitted to Oscar's car. We remain focused and realistic, with our feet on the ground, regardless of the encouraging and positive result in Austria. The most important thing is to continue to move forward and evolve, however little, every day. Silverstone is a very different track from Austria, but we obviously hope to achieve another good result at a circuit that has brought so much joy to all F1 fans and competitors".
At Mercedes, Toto Wolff, after the difficult race in Austria, hopes to regain performance at Silverstone:
"We're pleased to get back racing after a bruising weekend in Austria. We scored a handful of points, but we didn't have the pace for much more. The field behind Red Bull is incredibly close and also fluctuating each weekend. Some of this is circuit-specific, and some the upgrade cycle across the grid. We fell on the wrong side of this equation in Spielberg, but we've got a chance to bounce back immediately. The Team has been hard at work to analyse and draw learnings from our performance. We have taken the result on the chin and will aim to recapture the momentum we had built up across previous races. With the next upgrades and experiments coming in Silverstone, there are reasons for optimism. Nevertheless, we are not getting ahead of ourselves. We're focused on the job at hand, extracting performance from the car, and will see where we stand this weekend. The British Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the season. The atmosphere at Silverstone is unique and the support from the fans is truly incredible. It's also our local race, with the track just down the road from the factories in Brackley and Brixworth. It's a fast and flowing layout which creates great racing, so hopefully we can perform well and put on a good show".
In Alfa Romeo, Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative, tries to keep the standards high in view of the British Grand Prix despite the busy weekend they had in Austria:
"We head to Britain this week, after a challenging weekend in Austria, where our performances didn’t quite match what we had shown in previous races. Still, we must keep our spirits up: we are bringing a new, important package to Silverstone, on which the team back at base in Hinwil has been working hard over the past months, and it’ll hopefully help us make our way back to the top ten. We have seen how upgrades have been fundamental for our main competitors to make a step forward: that will be our main aim, for the second leg of this back-to-back. We remain confident, and eager to show that Austria just wasn’t our weekend, but we still have it in us to battle through the field - and promptly change the tide again".
Valtteri Bottas, after the difficult race in Austria, hopes that the new package of updates brought to Great Britain will improve the car’s performance:
"Undoubtedly, we expected more from Austria, as we were coming from a couple of decent results in a row. It was a tough one for the team, as we struggled throughout the whole weekend - and on top of that, also saw the Sunday race being compromised and thus our chances to recover through the field. I am looking forward to racing in Silverstone this weekend, another timeless classic on the calendar. We are bringing a new package there, which should help us regain the form we had shown last month. We know on which areas we need to work on to improve our performance, and everyone in the team, both trackside and back home in Hinwil, has been putting all their efforts on it. It will be crucial to get these upgrades right from the first practice sessions, to put ourselves back in the fight".
Zhou Guanyu concludes:
"As we head to Silverstone for the second part of the double header, we are motivated to put the tough weekend in Spielberg behind us. We will have some new parts on the car for this race, which should allow us to make a further step forward: I am keen to get back on track and extracting their full potential. Hopefully, we’ll be able to find more pace, which we lacked in Austria. Difficult races can happen; what is important, now, is that we maintain our focus and keep working towards getting back into the top ten right away. Of course, I remember the crash I was involved in last year; that, however, is a closed chapter, and has been ever since I returned home on that same day. This race is important to me, as I have spent so much time in the UK: all my motivation this weekend will go into doing well in a place I know very well".
At Haas, the Danish driver Kevin Magnussen, on the emotions that arouses in him racing at Silverstone declares:
"Silverstone is a great event because the atmosphere is fantastic. British fans are so into Formula 1 and the venue is one big party, a great festival. The track is also awesome, it’s always a highlight to drive a Formula 1 car around Silverstone".
On the proximity of the Silverstone circuit to the team base, he says:
"It’s great. It’s one of our home races in a way as we have a lot of British team members and we have our UK HQ in Banbury, Oxfordshire. We have quite a few home races in our team - we have the US which hosts our official home races, but we have bases in the UK and Italy as well".
Regarding the test that the team will carry out after the British Grand Prix, he concludes:
"It’s a tire test so there’s not much we can do there except do laps, but it’s a lovely day of driving around Silverstone which is not the worst thing you can be doing".
The other Haas driver, Nico Hulkenberg, talks about the feelings that Silverstone arouses in him:
"Silverstone is great, the fans are very knowledgeable and they’re really into F1. I feel a lot of love and support there. The track is also fantastic - it has some of the greatest corners on the calendar which I really like and it’s super high-speed. I’ve got good memories from racing there in the past so I’m looking forward to gearing up and getting on track".
Regarding the proximity of the track to the team base, he declares:
"I think the characteristics of the track describe our team pretty well - spicy, quick, dynamic! We obviously have quite a few members of the team from the UK, and our Banbury base is super close, which always helps with activities and events we have going on either side of the race. I’ve been with the team for over half a year now and think I’ve settled in well. Everyone has been very open from the beginning, and we enjoy working together".
On the test regarding Pirelli tyres for the future, which will take place after the British Grand Prix, he concludes:
"We’re there to test tires for the future, whether that’s compounds or tire constructions so it’s very important actually to know what’s coming up in the future for car development and when designing the car. It’s extra track time, which is always valuable now as it’s very limited this season with Sprints and almost no pre-season testing, so I’m looking forward to sharing the day with Kev".
In AlphaTauri, Nyck De Vries, expresses his thoughts about the Silverstone track and the type of adaptation that his car can have on this circuit:
"Silverstone is a track I know well. I’ve raced there in various single-seater categories and even in the World Endurance Championship. It is a very quick track, I think one of the quickest on the calendar, with a large number of high-speed corners. With our cars, they are so quick through those corners that you’re looking at taking downforce off because everything is full throttle".
"At those speeds, the wind is often a factor as the circuit is so flat and open, and the weather can often be unpredictable. It’s a historic place in the heart of Formula 1 and motorsport because the core of our industry is based around Silverstone. Whether the track will suit our car is the same question everyone always asks, but I think, looking at the midfield, it’s impossible to predict whether your performance will be strong or not. The margins are so small that execution is key. When you execute a good, clean weekend, it makes all the difference, and you quickly get closer towards the top ten. Additionally, you’ve got to make the right decisions throughout the weekend to get the maximum potential out of the package you have".
Yuki Tsunoda concludes:
"I think nearly all the drivers like Silverstone, I certainly do. Most corners are high-speed and, as we're expecting some more significant aero upgrades for this round, I’m quite optimistic that, going into this race week, we can make a step forward. We go back to the usual weekend format after the Sprint in Austria, and that means we will have more time to thoroughly test the updates, which is a good thing as this race will be an important one in terms of what we can expect for the next part of the season. A perfect car for Silverstone is quite similar in some ways to what you need in Austria - low drag and a good amount of load. Silverstone and the British Grand Prix have a lot of history, we have our wind tunnel and aero people based not far away in Bicester, and I really love the track itself. It’s very cool and classic, and I enjoy driving it a lot. It has good memories as I won the F2 Sprint race here a few years ago and also finished on the podium in the Feature race. I can also appreciate that the atmosphere there is quite unique as the UK is a special country in terms of motorsport and is very important for Formula 1".
At Red Bull, Max Verstappen is be at Silverstone and hopes to repeat the same weekend he had in Austria:
"Heading into another home race for us as a Team this weekend in Silverstone. It's a great track to go to and I'm also curious to see how the RB19 will perform there. There's always a good atmosphere with a lot of passionate racing fans around the whole track. Austria was an incredible weekend for us and hopefully we can have a strong weekend again in Silverstone, with a solid and clean performance. You never know what the weather will do in the UK so that could mix things up".
Sergio Perez, enthusiastic about his return to the podium in Austria, hopes to repeat the same performance:
"In the end we had a great weekend in Austria and it felt good to be back on the podium. I felt comfortable with the car all weekend and we had great pace from the start. The car really worked for me on Sunday and I was so pleased to come through the field in the way I did. I didn’t feel one hundred percent the whole time and my Team really helped me through it, from set-up to strategy we really nailed it. I feel confident going into Silverstone now and it’s all about repeating the process together. I have taken time to rest to make sure I am ready physically because I want to keep this form going now until the summer break".
At Alpine, Esteban Ocon, is motivated to race at the iconic Silverstone track and hopes updates will improve the car's performance:
"Silverstone is such an iconic track with a nice flow and an exciting mixture of high, medium, and slow speed corners. The famous Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel combination is very fast and cool to drive, especially in these high-downforce cars. More generally, the circuit is known for its high-speed corners and regular short straights, and the exposed track at Silverstone also means that the wind can have an important, and often unpredictable, effect on all the cars".
"This weekend, we will have an upgrade on the car, so we hope to improve our performance this weekend following a difficult weekend in Austria. We hope to have a good race in front of the all the passionate British fans, but also in front of many of my UK-based colleagues, given our factory in Enstone is not far away. It will feel a bit like a home race in a way and I'm really looking forward to racing this weekend".
Pierre Gasly feels ready to run immediately:
"What I like about to back-to-back races is the fact there is an immediate opportunity to race again and prove a point. It's the Enstone team's home race and that adds additional motivation to race for the staff members who will no doubt be at the race weekend in big numbers in the grandstands! Silverstone is one of the most famous and historic circuits in racing. It's an exciting track, high-speed with some good overtaking chances especially into Turn 3, Turn 6 (Brooklands), Turn 9 (Copse), Turn 15 (Stowe) and Turn 16 (Vale). Silverstone is where I drove the A523 for the first time in February ahead of my Alpine debut, which was an important moment in my career as I started a new chapter in Formula 1 with the team. We have an upgrade for this race - the first of a couple coming up - so I look forward to seeing the benefit it brings to the car. The aim is to have a smooth weekend with big points in the bag come Sunday. I'm feeling ready, let's go".
At Williams, Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, outlines the situation for the race weekend at Silverstone:
"Silverstone is always a good test of the car and the drivers, and following races in Canada and Austria, the British Grand Prix weekend is a very useful reference for the updated FW45. Both drivers continue with the same basic package as they raced last weekend at the Red Bull Ring, but they will each have a new aerodynamic item to look at in FP1 as part of our ongoing R&D programme. This weekend sees the full introduction of the new Pirelli tyre construction, which all teams tested in Barcelona. This is expected to work well with the hard compounds that Pirelli have supplied for this event. All three compounds should offer useful trades of performance and degradation and will offer useful strategic flexibility".
Alex Albon, is thrilled to race here:
"A home race for the team and in some ways a home race for myself as well. I love this circuit it's one of the best tracks of the year. Silverstone is always a special race to go to. We're celebrating our 800th GP so it'll be nice to show off the modified livery. in terms of pace, we'll be there or there abouts. Possibly not as competitive as Canada or Austria but still competitive to give us the opportunity to score points".
Logan Sargeant concludes:
"Really excited to be going back to one of my favourite tracks this weekend. Silverstone has always been good to me and I love all the high-speed sections of the track. Hopefully we can get the car working well and have a good weekend".
In the Aston Martin Team, Lance Stroll is determined to achieve a good result in Great Britain:
"We're super lucky to have Silverstone as the team's home race; it's an incredible classic circuit that we all enjoy driving and racing at. It's also a real power track, with so much of the lap taken at full throttle. The Maggots, Becketts, Chapel sequence is one of the very best on the calendar and driving it in this year's car will be something special. The focus this weekend has to be on keeping the momentum going from Austria as we look to retake second in the Constructors' Championship; I know the team will keep pushing hard and the home crowd is always great motivation".
Fernando Alonso concludes:
"We are fresh from Austria where we scored some good points as a team in what was a challenging weekend that had mixed weather conditions and the Sprint format. Now our focus is on our home race at Silverstone. It's always great to race around this historic circuit. I've been in the new Technology Campus this week and every time I'm here it's very impressive and an exciting place to work. It's a real signal of intent for the team's future. I'm excited to see what we can do just across the road in front of the British fans this weekend".
At Ferrari, Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal, is positive about the progress the car showed in Austria, and hopes that the direction taken will also be the right one for the weekend in Great Britain:
"The past two races have clearly demonstrated that we have made progress with the SF-23 and our drivers have been able to drive attacking races, thanks to improved tyre management and a more consistent long run pace. However, we are not yet in a position to challenge the current championship leaders, which is why we continue to work hard. Ferrari has very strong links to this track, which is one of the historic venues on the Formula 1 calendar. Its high speed corners are a stiff test of a car’s abilities and we are very much looking forward to seeing how the SF-23 performs. In the days of unlimited testing, the British-based teams had a big advantage at this track, but that’s no longer the case. Indeed, last year Carlos secured his first ever Formula 1 win here and Charles has come close on a few occasions, listing Silverstone as one of his favourite permanent circuits. Both drivers, along with the whole team, will be doing their utmost to take the fight to our opponents who naturally will be keen to shine at home".
Charles Leclerc is positive about the development direction taken by the team. Hopeful that the updates brought can also bring benefits at Silverstone, the Monegasque driver declares:
"We don’t get the chance to play that often, but we try when we have time and usually I win, but yesterday I did not. Since Barcelona, the feeling is going in the right direction. In Austria the pace was a bit better than in the first half of this season. It shows we have taken some steps forward. However, we shouldn’t get carried away because Red Bull are a long way in front and I think the Silverstone track could expose our weaknesses a bit, so we could struggle a bit more than last year here, but it’s clear that the feeling and the pace has improved. We are still focussed on this year’s car, because we have some weaknesses we need to address and when we have done that then it will have also an effect on making next year’s car much better. I feel confident because we have a very clear plan and there are more updates coming in the next few races in order, not only to be ahead of Aston and Mercedes, but also to be fighting Red Bull as quickly as possible and I’m sure we’re on the right track".
Carlos Sainz, recalling his first career victory, obtained on this track, is motivated to push hard to continue to show the recent progress of the car:
"It’s here that I won my first race in single-seaters and a year ago here I took my first Formula 1 win. I cannot deny I felt something special when I drove into the circuit this morning and then as I went through the swipe gate. I remembered the fans cheering as I took the chequered flag, the great happiness I felt as soon as I crossed the finish line and the emotion on standing on the top step of the podium, listening to my Spanish national anthem and the Italian one for the Scuderia Ferrari. My hopes are always high. I arrive at every Grand Prix super motivated and ready to push to the maximum. Clearly the hierarchy this season is different to the one in 2022 and so too therefore are our expectations. Red Bull is clearly ahead and we have a lot of work ahead of us to reach their level. But in the last few races, I think we have made concrete progress, which meant that, in Austria, we were leading the field behind Max Verstappen and Checo Perez. We have to continue like this and try to make the most of every opportunity. In recent races, the SF-23 has become more driveable and kinder on tyres. If these qualities are also confirmed here, they will put us in a position where we can close some of the technical shortcomings we have seen so far this season. We can’t wait to get out on track here to check this out".
Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director, outlines the novelty of the new construction of slick tyres present for this Grand Prix by describing the characteristic features of the Silverstone circuit:
"The British Grand Prix will mark the debut of a new slick tyre construction, using materials that have been brought forward from their anticipated introduction next year. This change in specification was made necessary due to the increased performance of the cars seen since the start of the season - both in terms of outright speed and loadings - compared to the pre-season simulation data supplied to Pirelli by the teams last winter, and the fact that this trend is only set to increase as the championship goes on. We've worked very hard on simulation over the last few years in order to not only supply a product that meets the performance targets set by all the stakeholders but also to have the ability to anticipate any eventual issues and react to them promptly. The new specification gives the tyre extra resistance against fatigue but does not affect any technical parameters or its behaviour on track. All the teams already had the opportunity to try the new tyre construction out at the Spanish Grand Prix, when two sets were put at the disposal of each driver in free practice. Their comments were in line with our expectations, especially when it came to transparency in terms of performance. The new specification also allows us to keep front and rear tyre pressures largely unchanged compared to last year, despite a significant increase in average loads. This debut will come on a track that is traditionally one of the hardest on tyres; on our internal charts Silverstone is right at the top in terms of stress and lateral forces exerted on them: particularly the front-left. The track also takes a lot out of the drivers, who have to cope with lateral accelerations in excess of 5g throughout its rapid corners. The compound choices - which, unlike the structure, are not undergoing any change in specification - are identical to previous years at least in name: C1 is the hard, C2 is the medium, and C3 is the soft. However, the current C1 is in fact a brand new compound for this year, which fits in between the C2 and the C0: our new name for the hardest compound in the 2022 range".
The sun is shining over the Silverstone Circuit when the pit lane lights go green, at 12:30 p.m. local time, to signal the start of the FP1 session on Friday, 7th of July, 2023. Almost every team has brought upgrade to this race and plenty are testing them out on track. Sergio Perez for Red Bull and Fernando Alonso for Aston Martin are rocking the aero rake in FP1 for gathering some data. The teams sample Pirelli’s new tyre construction for all dry compounds which is aimed at increasing the products’ strength. As the different runs on hard, medium and soft tyres took place, it is reigning double world champion Verstappen who comes out on top with a time of 1'28"60. on the red-marked rubber despite complaining since the beginning:
"There is zero grip. It's getting worse and worse There is zero grip. It's getting worse and worse".
Mercedes and Aston Martin have both rolled out bigger packages for this race, with Mercedes bringing a new front wing and a reprofiled endplate as well as tweaks to the elements in order to give an airflow further down the car. Mercedes opt against any soft tyre run and that cause them to be outside the top ten: Lewis Hamilton takes 12th after his runs on medium and hard tyres, with George Russell back in 14th. They both complain about bouncing and lacking of grip. Alex Albon in his Williams displays an impressive straight-line speed finishing the session third ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. This season the Thai driver is showing great pace and great confidence with the car, proving the efficiency of the hard work made by Williams’s engineers to bring back the car in the midfield. His teammate Logan Sargeant finishes the session 17th fastest. The team this weekend is racing with a special livery. Alpine show some encouraging early pace, with Esteban Ocon 6th fastest between Leclerc and the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, while Lando Norris keeps his McLaren in eight positions after his strong performance in Austria. The other McLaren of Oscar Piastri, who is using the upgrades Norris debuted at the last Grand Prix, rounded out the top 10. McLaren is using a special livery: it's back to chrome for their home race. This design is a nod to their chrome livery that they ran from 2006 to 2014, the era where Hamilton won his first drivers' world championship in 2008.
George Russell describes this difficult afternoon:
"Today definitely wasn't our finest Friday. In FP1, our pace on the Medium tyre was looking reasonable and we thought we'd be able to make a good step on the Soft tyre. However in FP2, we struggled. We've seen a small trend that when temperatures are hotter, we tend to take a step backwards. We also made quite a few changes between sessions, but we possibly didn't compensate enough for the conditions. It was a difficult afternoon for sure, but we will dig into the data with the Team tonight and see what we can do for tomorrow. Despite the difficulties, I've still got half a smile on my face driving here in front of all the British fans. They are giving me and the Team the energy to come back stronger tomorrow".
Lewis Hamilton hopes they can still fight for the podium:
"It was very windy out there, as it often is here at Silverstone. I think that's something that helps it become the best track in the world. It definitely made the car more inconsistent though, but we're also battling the same challenges that we have been for the majority of the season. It's a tough car to drive and it continues to be so. On the single lap, we didn't seem to make any improvement between tyres which suggests we're missing something. The positive for us is that the long run pace wasn't too bad. The balance is tricky, but we will work on in tonight. We will also have Mick in the simulator so hopefully we can come up with some solutions for tomorrow. We're not in the same race as the Red Bulls but I'm hoping we can fight for the podium, even though it will take a big push. The fans have been phenomenal since yesterday already and hopefully we can give them something to cheer about".
Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, declares:
"Today, it looked like we had a race car that could fight for a podium, with a qualifying car that would struggle to threaten the top-10. Clearly, we've got lots of work to do to understand why that is. We've got some investigations ongoing, but we'd like to check through more data to test our theories; we've also got Mick in the simulator overnight which will be a big help. The positive from today is that our low fuel performance on the Medium and Hard tyre was good. Our long run pace also looked strong. It was also encouraging that our updates seem to be behaving as expected. The list of things to fix is therefore not long, but it's a very important one with regards to qualifying tomorrow. There is plenty of work ahead, but we've got lots of ideas and hopefully we'll make good progress".
At the end of the day Albon is satisfied:
"Obviously a very good day today. I think we need to stay true to ourselves as we don't know what everyone else is doing. Looking at the timesheets you can't not be happy, but I think it's better to just focus on how we can continue to improve, as there's still more to look at. Let's also hope tomorrow stays dry".
After this incredible Friday, Logan Sargeant says:
"It was a decent Friday in Silverstone, despite being quite tricky with high temperatures and high winds, making it very unpredictable throughout the lap. We've done a good job to get on top of it, however there's still some improvements to make ahead of tomorrow. Either way, it was a great day driving this amazing track and I'm looking forward to tomorrow
Dave Robson, Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, declares:
"We got through a good amount of work in FP1 with both drivers completing their programmes, including a first look at some new aerodynamic items. Alex ran a new front wing, which is working well; he will keep this for the rest of the weekend. Meanwhile, Logan looked at a new rear wing, which will race later in the season. Despite the distraction of doing these tests, both drivers were still able to get a good look at the track and the conditions. FP2 was a normal race weekend session and both drivers were able to set good lap times at low and high fuel despite the windy conditions. This is the first time that we have seen the upgrade package, which we introduced in Canada, run on a circuit as demanding and varied as Silverstone. This has enabled us to collect a lot more data than was possible in Canada and Austria and will help us understand if the development direction was correct. Alex and Logan were very strong today and set fast laps in tricky conditions, however, the conditions are likely to vary over the next couple of days and we still have a lot of work to do to secure a good result. We'll focus on the things we can influence and try to maintain the good momentum into tomorrow".
Oscar Piastri feels better in the car showing that their upgrades are working:
"I'd say a pretty productive day. We still need to do some work to get the car into the sweet spot, but I think all-in-all it was pretty solid. We'll have to see what we can tune-up for tomorrow. The weather is playing a big part, so we'll see what we can do tomorrow but all-in-all, not a bad Friday, a nice first day with the upgraded car".
Lando Norris is not satisfied:
"A bit of a tricky day. I was struggling quite a bit with the car balance and confidence. It hasn't been the best of starts but we've still got plenty of time to work it through. We're probably not at the same level as we were in Austria, but we know we can get more out of the car".
Andrea Stella, McLaren’s Team Principal, says:
"A productive day of practice, in dry sunny conditions here at Silverstone. The good weather allows us to complete an extensive programme testing for the new tyres and our upgraded aerodynamic parts. The pecking order looks interesting: some cars seem to be quick on low fuel, others in the race runs, so I think we have an interesting weekend ahead - even leaving aside the possibility of wet weather on the way. We'll study the data tonight and prepare as best we can for whatever the weekend brings us, with the intention of scoring points on Sunday".
Zak Brown, McLaren’s CEO, on the team's updates says:
"Yeah, they did the job in Austria. Let’s see what happens here at Silverstone. We have them on Oscar’s car [as well], so he’s going to get his first taste of them as we speak. The upgrades clearly worked but [the Red Bull Ring is] a circuit that we’re usually strong at, as is Lando, so that’s why we need to see what happens here. But it was definitely a step forward, the men and women at McLaren did a great job".
The second session of free practice gets underway at 4.05pm local time. During this session Verstappen confirms his pace by once again setting the fastest time in 1’28’’078: he is only 22 thousandths close to Carlos Sainz Jr. The other Ferrari driver, Leclerc, is unable to take part in the session due to an electrical problem that can not be repaired in time. Albon confirms his third place in the standings; Williams underline their growth in performance, confirmed by Logan Sargeant's fifth place. The top ten is made up of cars from seven different manufacturers: in order we have Perez with RedBull fourth, then Sargeant with Williams, Stroll with Aston Martin, Hulkenberg with Haas, Gasly with Alpine, Piastri with McLaren and Alonso with Aston Martin. Mercedes once again fail to make an impact in this session but showed more competitiveness in the race simulation. During both session Yuki Tsunoda and Alexander Albon use a gearbox assembly outside the allocation provided by the technical regulations. Both drivers will not be penalised on the grid as this is one of the operations that can be carried out within the maximum number allowed by the technical regulations. After the session, Red Bull is fined with 100 euros because Perez exceeded the set speed limit in the pit lane. Lance Stroll receives a third gearbox and transmission ahead of Friday's second free practice session. The Canadian Aston Martin driver isn’t penalized on the grid as the newly installed components are within the maximum number allowed by the technical regulations. Stroll thinks his car was stronger than it was in the morning:
"It's been great to get out on track at Silverstone today; there's no place quite like it. We made a few set-up changes after FP1 and the AMR23 was feeling stronger for the second session. There are still a few bits to work through tonight, but the pace looked good so I'm feeling positive. We'll see what tomorrow brings as it looks like the temperature will drop and there could be some rain in the area. We could be in for an interesting Qualifying".
Fernando Alonso adds:
"It's good to be back at Silverstone and racing just across the road from our AMR Technology Campus. This circuit always provides a lot of adrenaline for us in Formula One cars. It was very windy today which made it quite tricky, but the car felt good. We tested a few things in both sessions and there is more for us to analyse tonight. The weather looks like it could change tomorrow, so let's see what conditions we are facing".
Esteban Ocon, who comes from a disastrous wekend in Austria, is satisfied with his sessions:
"It's good to be back driving at this iconic circuit. Silverstone always has such a good flow to it and it feels great to attack some of these amazing corner combinations flat out. In terms of our day today, I think we learned a lot from both Free Practice sessions and we've acquired some good data to determine the direction we need to take on set-up ahead of tomorrow. The weather conditions will most likely be different for Qualifying and, perhaps even for the race, so that is something all teams will keep an eye on for sure. We've got a lot of work to do ahead of tomorrow and I am confident we will be in good shape".
Pierre Gasly, after a good Friday in 13th and 10th position, states:
"Firstly, it's very enjoyable to drive at such an awesome circuit in front of so many fans. Even on a Friday, the grandstands were full at every corner and that really is good to see for us drivers. On track, it's been a solid day for us with no real issues and we progressed through our run plan as expected. I definitely think there's more to come from us and I look forward to tomorrow's Practice to again try some things and find improvements ahead of Qualifying".
Matt Harman, Alpine’s Technical Director, declares:
"It's always a great experience to be at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. Many of our Enstone staff members attend this race as it's a short drive from the factory and this year it's made even more satisfying that those in attendance are able to see first-hand the benefit of our front wing upgrade, which we've been able to deliver on both cars for this weekend. The upgrade has worked as expected and we look forward to adding more performance to the car in the coming weeks with a series of updates. On track, it's been an uneventful day with both drivers running a productive programme in preparation for the rest of the weekend. There's more to come from us and we'll use Free Practice 3 to fine tune the cars ahead of Qualifying and the Race".
Yuki Tsunoda declares:
"With such a large number of new parts that we have introduced, it takes time to understand them. We have definitely seen some gains in a few places, and we’ll use tonight to analyse the data we collected today. Tomorrow is a new day, and we’ll use FP3 to maximise our package in time for qualifying".
Nyck de Vries complains about a lack of grip as he also spun his car at Turn 7 at the start of FP1 and triggered a yellow flag at the end of FP2:
"The car performance was decent in FP1, but FP2 was more difficult. With all the updates we brought this weekend, it takes time to understand their behaviour. We’ll go through all our data tonight to learn as much as possible, to get ready for qualifying tomorrow afternoon".
Jonathan Eddolls, AlphaTauri’s Chief Race Engineer, adds:
"We brought a new aero package to this event consisting of floor, bodywork, rear wing and rear brake duct, so the focus of the day was to understand the performance and characteristics associated with it. To help us gather the best data possible, we carried out various setup tests across the two cars using the medium and soft tyre compounds in FP1. There was time for a long run at the end of the first session and as the degradation was higher than expected, we took this learning into the FP2 long runs. Analysis showed that the update is actually working well. We made further changes to the car in FP2, but it’s fair to say we didn't hit the sweet spot with either car in terms of balance on the soft tyre short runs, lacking front end, which is a lap time killer here. High track temperatures exacerbated the front tyre overheating which resulted in a lack of front grip, so we think there is a step of lap time to come tomorrow with better balance. The long runs in FP2 were better managed, but we still had high degradation, so we need to review the strategy for the race. In summary, the aero update shows gains in the data and the focus of the overnight work will be to see what is required with setup and driving, to utilise this extra performance and turn that into lap time".
Carlos Sainz Jr. admits they made progress in FP2:
"It was a challenging Friday here in Silverstone. FP1 was quite tricky because of the wind and the track conditions but we completed a good programme and I think this helped us make good progress in FP2. We need to keep working on tyre management and race pace. This should be our main point of focus going into tomorrow, as today we could see that over one lap we were not too bad. Overall, we are quite happy with today but of course there’s still some work to do".
Charles Leclerc could not take part to FP2 due to an electrical problem, so he shares his thoughts just about FP1:
"While the feeling in the car was good on the low fuel run, we still have some work to do to improve our race pace. We hope to make some steps forward by tomorrow, even though the conditions will be very different as we expect it to rain. It’s a shame that I couldn’t take part in FP2 because we lack some race simulations for Sunday, but we will work on maximizing what we have in preparation for qualifying and the race anyway".
Kevin Magnussen admits there is still some work to do:
"It’s normal focusing on the set up and tires on a Friday. I think we looked a little bit weak today but then again Nico put in a very good lap time on his side. There’s something we can learn from that hopefully. We know our car usually can do one lap but then struggles in the race. I think my focus is really at the end of the day more on race pace and tire performance".
Nico Hulkenberg is in great shape this year:
"It’s fast here, super dynamic and also the wind direction was good today when going through all of the nice highspeed sections. It’s impressive the speed and the change of direction and the forces we go through. It was an okay day today, the long run didn’t feel too bad, but I was almost always by myself, alone, so it isn’t entirely representative come Sunday. We’re trying to get on top of the long runs a bit more and find some more pace, tire management and see what we can do. I think one lap pace looked okay, but we need to focus on what we can do better in the race to extract the most".
Guenther Steiner, Haas’ Team Principal, thinks they are going in the right direction:
"FP1 was difficult, we were trying some stuff to sort our issues out and I think what we learned from there, we got better in FP2. Nico did pretty well also, the long run didn’t look too bad. Obviously, it was a long run, but it was 15 laps, and we need to do more than 15 laps on these tires. I think we’re going in the right direction. Kevin struggled a little bit, but we’re reverting his set-up to Nico’s set-up, at his wish, and hopefully he can be with Nico in FP3 and in qualifying".
Max Verstappen enjoyed a good day:
"I think it was quite a good day for us. It was a little slippery in the beginning but that’s due to the high pressures that we are running on the tyres. Of course, that is the same for everyone, but it makes it a bit more difficult in the low speed. I think in general the car has been performing really well so we can be happy with that. The performance has also been strong in both sessions and we could complete our programme. The long runs felt good as well so it’s pretty positive. From our side we want to improve the car ahead of qualifying tomorrow but overall, it’s been a strong day".
Sergio Perez is struggling to keep up with his teammate’s performance; he wants to show his value and try to do better than last week:
"I am pleased with how the sessions went. We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the tyres today. The most important thing is to assess the data, learn from it and see where and how is best to use that information tomorrow. I think we are looking good for qualifying and for the race. It has been a positive Friday overall, the car is feeling good and we made some positive progress from FP1 to FP2. There is still a lot of work to be done overnight but hopefully tomorrow we can make another step in the right direction".
Alfa Romeo brought some updates: there's a new underfloor geometry, new floor fences as well as changes to the rear brake duct and the diffuser among others. Valtteri Bottas, 15th in FP1 and 16th in FP2, says:
"Today, much like most Fridays, has been all about learning. The upgrades we have brought here seem to have given us a bit more downforce; it is a step forward, but we’re not the only team who has brought new parts this weekend, and once again, we have seen how extremely close it is in the field with our main competitors. I reckon there is still some work to do overnight to further optimise this package, in order to find that extra performance that could make the difference. Tomorrow, it will be crucial to execute a perfect qualifying, to place ourselves in a favourable position on the grid and hopefully get in the mix for points on Sunday".
Zhou Guanyu struggled for grip during both sessions:
"The upgrades we have brought here seem to be working as we expected; of course, it is difficult to make predictions based on practice sessions: we will find out where we really stand only when qualifying starts. Today has been all about getting to learn these new parts, and testing different setups. I slightly struggled with the balance, but overall, I think P11 is a decent result – and if we manage to fine tune every detail, I am confident we will be able to extract much more from our car. Tonight, all of our work will go into reviewing the data we have gathered today and analysing it to make a further step forward tomorrow".
Simone Berra, Pirelli Chief Engineer declares:
“It was a very interesting day with a lot of data acquired and useful information especially looking to the race. We saw that the teams maybe concentrated more than usual in FP2 on assessing tyre behaviour over a long run, in some cases running a half-race distance on one set. This was the case for Hulkenberg who did 25 laps on a set of Hards, 20 of them in one run. The new construction made what one could call its official debut here, following on from the prototype test in Barcelona. From what we have seen so far there were no problems nor changes in tyre behaviour. It's worth noting that compared to last year, the lap times have come down considerably: almost nine tenths quicker when comparing the best 2022 time of 1'28”942 with today's 1.28.078, although today's track temperature was 15 °C higher. Tomorrow, there's a chance of rain especially for the earlier on track sessions, with the chances of a wet track diminishing over the course of the day. It's another unpredictable element on a Saturday that already looks like being closely contested, given that on the shortest runs, the gaps were very small, with 22 hundredths between first and second on the FP2 time sheet and all 19 drivers (Leclerc did not run in this session) within the same second and a half".
On Saturday morning at Silverstone the sky is cloudy but it still doesn’t rain, the asphalt is dry and Free Practice 3 is expected in mixed conditions, given the impending dark clouds. Fernando Alonso, who enters the track with a set of new medium tyres and is ready to test the English track for the last time before qualifying.
Unlike him, one who immediately had problems with his car is Lando Norris, forced to stop the McLaren just before the exit of the pit lane, after the team communicated a problem they detected. Not a good start to the day for McLaren in short, despite their chrome livery designed specifically to celebrate the home race of the English team and remember the winning McLaren 2008. At the beginning of the round, Verstappen immediately takes the leadership of the standings, mounting a set of medium tires and making vain the effort of the two Ferraris with soft tires, scoring a 1'28"836. Ferrari, however, in particular the car number 55 of Carlos Sainz, do not give up and a few minutes later he manages to score a time 3 tenths faster than Verstappen, with a 1'27"964, being reached in the second position by his teammate Leclerc. A few minutes away from each other, the hero of the house Lewis Hamilton does mark the best time among the general roars with a 1'27"948, and then be followed closely by Leclerc, which takes away half a second at the time of the English, scoring a 1'27"419. Meanwhile, the rain arrives on the track, starting with the third sector, where Leclerc (with soft tires) is forced to abandon the attempt of the fast lap: despite this remains on track even with rain, trying in every way to know thoroughly the track in every condition. After him they are all at the pits, ready to go back on track with the intermediate tires, the asphalt is particularly suitable for the whole length of the track except for Turn 7, particularly wet and difficult. After a few laps with the intermediates, it seems already time for some drivers to return to a different compound: the first is Lando Norris, who mounts a set of soft tires and returns to the track, managing to make very good sector times except in the third, far too wet. However, Norris' feat does not seem to pay off, as the English driver also returns to the pits, leaving the track completely empty, waiting for better weather conditions: the first to do so is Max Verstappen, with a new set of intermediates. With him the ball is back on, with all the drivers back on track and this time it seems that the conditions, although worsened at the level of rain, are more optimal for the intermediate tires. After this last stint with the intermediates the practice session ends, with Leclerc first, closely followed by Albon, Alonso, Gasly, Hamilton, Sainz, Sargeant, Verstappen (who seems to have worked more for race pace than for qualifying), Russell, Tsunoda, De vries, Norris, Stroll, Perez, Magnussen, Ocon, Piastri, Bottas, Hulkenberg and Zhou.
The day of Saturday in the afternoon continues as was the morning, with 22 degrees of asphalt and a very cloudy sky that heralds another downpour. Despite this threat, at the start of Q1 all have slick tyres, with the exception of the Ferrari duo, the Haas duo and Sargeant, who instead mount intermediate tyres. After a short time the latter mentioned return to the pits to change the intermediate with a set of soft tires, given the track conditions. The first to attempt a fast lap was Lewis Hamilton, but he runs into a spin at the Stowe, losing control of his car and leaving the fast lap to Esteban Ocon, with a 1'34"204. Immediately after him is Alonso who puts himself in charge, scoring first a 1'31"437 and then a 1'30"730, having behind him Russell, Stroll, Piastri and Tsunoda. The rain returns to the track, especially at Stowe, where many drivers struggle to stay on track: after Max Verstappen takes the top of the standings with a 1'30"719, many drivers lose control of the car, with the excluded being Magnussen, Zhou, Sargeant, Bottas and Albon. Three minutes before the end of Q1, the red flag is flying on the track, caused by Kevin Magnussen who, due to a technical problem, is forced to stop his car on the track. Once the situation on the track is resolved, the green flag returns and the track improves considerably, with all the drivers with new soft tyres, apart from Verstappen, Alonso, Piastri, Norris and Perez, who have used soft tyres. At the end of Q1 the fastest time is set by Lando Norris, with a 1'28"917, followed by Leclerc and Russell for the top 3, while the excluded are Perez, Tsunoda, Zhou, De Vries and Magnussen. At the beginning of Q2, the weather changes drastically, as suddenly the sun comes out in the pit lane and the track seems to be drying gradually. The first eliminated in Q2, just a few minutes from the start, is Bottas, who due to a technical problem is forced to park his car on the track. The second qualifying round begins with Norris in the lead with a 1'29"427 and with all the drivers with a set of new soft tires, except for the Mercedes duo, who opts for a train of used soft. Immediately after him is Alonso to have the leadership with a 1'29"052, then be passed first by Verstappen and immediately after by Oscar Piastri, with his 1'28"567. At the moment when the chequered flag fan, Verstappen takes the lead with a 1'27"702, followed by Piastri and Norris for the top 3, while the excluded are Hulkenberg, Stroll, Ocon, Saregant and Bottas.Soon after he returns to the track for the last stint of Q3, which sees all the drivers fit used soft tires, except for Verstappen, who uses the set of new soft tires saved in Q1, managing to score the best time with a 1'27"084.
Leclerc tries to reach him, and under the checkered flag he scores a 1'27"136, only 52 thousandths behind Verstappen. Q3 ends with Max Verstappen on pole with a 1'26"720, followed by Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri, Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, Alexander Albon, Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly. Once the Action on the track is over, it’s time for Interviews and at Red Bull the atmosphere is divided: on the one hand there is Max Verstappen, pole man of the day:
"It was a pretty crazy qualifying, very hectic and slippery at some points. I had a small inchident in the pit lane, I understeered as I turned and the car just went straight - I think there was some damage. Other than that, very happy. In the same way, I’m very happy for McLaren, you could see how enthusiastic everyone was in that garage, they worked so hard, it’s also great for British fans. I expect Ferrari and Mercedes to be more competitive during the race. As for us, we know that we have a good race car and can not wait. I don’t care if it’s wet tomorrow, in FP3 we were very fast in the wet so I don’t think we have to worry".
Sergio Perez’ mood is different, as he was excluded in Q1:
"Today was pretty disappointing. The red flag lasted much longer than we initially thought, so we lost some heat on the tyres and we didn’t get enough temperature. We also struggled with time. The changing conditions made things much more difficult, so we ended up with a poor qualifying. We had a good session yesterday, so for now, we have to look forward to tomorrow and only aim to get all the possible points. It will be difficult to cross the field, but we will do our best".
Christian Horner, Team Principal of the Austrian Scuderia, tries to put the two realities together:
"A mixed bag from qualifying today. The weather was about as British as it gets; raining while sunny. This complicated things for us slightly but it looks like the race will be dryer so we won’t have to flip flop between inters and slicks as we have done today. The change in conditions means we won’t be able to take a lot of the data from practice with us but we will certainly take the pole from qualifying. It was another great performance from Max, his 5th pole in a row. Conversely, another tough quali for Checo but remaining confident for a good run tomorrow with plenty to race for".
The atmosphere in Mclaren is very enthusiastic, with both drivers in Q3 and just a few hundredths from pole, especially for Lando Norris:
"That was close! Two-tenths to P1 in Q3, is pretty insane. My last lap was a good lap. I could hear Zak on the radio on the in-lap, which is the best thing ever. I'm grateful. For us to achieve second and third is pretty amazing for the whole team, with all the hard work that we've been putting in, especially to do it here in Silverstone. To do that with the chrome livery at our home race, for the team, for myself, is amazing. Big thanks to the whole crowd here, they're amazing. It's been a very special day for us. I look forward to tomorrow".
Even Oscar Piastri, arrived in third position, a step from the first row, is very happy:
"I'm very, very, very happy. I mean, what a qualifying session. The car was a rocket ship in Q2 and Q3, I feel like I put a pretty good lap together. It's a massive result for the team and the hard work that's gone into bringing upgrades to the car. To have both of us up here is a mega result. Now we've just got to try and stay there for tomorrow. We know that will be a challenge, but we're looking forward to it".
This feeling is also widely shared by Andrea Stella, the Team Principal:
"It's great to see two McLarens up towards the top of the qualifying standings here at Silverstone. P2 and P3 has been achieved in tricky conditions today: the team had to be switched-on to get us through the first two sessions. We could then capitalise on that with strong laps from Lando and Oscar in Q3. A big positive is that we could confirm the progress we saw in Austria and the further upgrades we brought here. For that, I have to thank everyone at the factory and here trackside for their hard work, commitment and dedication. We have an incredible team, and we should enjoy today and use this as extra motivation going forward. We now focus on preparing for the race and look forward to tomorrow. We are realistic for the race as we know we have quick cars around us, but we will give our best in tomorrow's British Grand Prix".
Who is more calm but certainly happy is the Ferrari duo, with Carlos Sainz Jr. who says:
"It was not a bad Saturday overall after a very challenging Quali. The field was very tight and the conditions were changing all the time, so to produce a solid session like we did was not easy.Tomorrow we can expect a nice battle with the cars around us so I expect an intense race. We’ll give absolutely everything to bring home a good result".
Same feeling shared by his teammate, Charles Leclerc:
"A pretty good qualifying, considering that I struggled a bit in the last few races in mixed conditions on slick tyres. I felt good today, because it seems that the hard work I’ve put in to improve this has paid off. I didn’t put the perfect lap together in Q3 as I lost grip in turn 15, so a front row position was not possible today. It’s nice to see McLaren be so quick and I expect an exciting race tomorrow with all of us so close together. We don’t have any race trim data on my side because I missed out on FP2, but we maximised every session since then and are in a decent starting position, so everything is possible tomorrow".
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal, is also satisfied:
"All three parts of qualifying were very exciting for fans and spectators. It was good for Formula 1, good for the show. For our part, it was a bit like that, even if we are facing our direct competitors. But there was room to do better as Charles made a small mistake at turn 15 that affected his lap time. The important thing is that we are not far from the rhythm. We are still trying to be more consistent in terms of tyre degradation and we have seen in the last two races, on very different tracks, that we have taken a good step in this direction. Silverstone is a more demanding circuit in this regard and on paper, it didn’t seem to suit us, but we were competitive and we can try to climb the order tomorrow. It is difficult to know what to expect from the weather: it changes every hour and the race lasts two hours! But we are very motivated".
It was a complicated qualifying round in Alfa Romeo, as Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative, confesses:
"We are undoubtedly disappointed, as we felt more than on previous days that we had the potential to do well. With Valtteri we showed we were comfortably into Q2, but a technical issue related to fuel forced him to stop, and to pull out of qualifying. Unfortunately, the problem meant we weren’t able to submit the required fuel sample to the scrutineers, which lead to Valtteri being disqualified from the session. It’s a pity as he had been doing an excellent job, and we are sorry to see his chances of a good qualifying session seriously damaged. For Zhou, it has been more difficult: he completely sat out of FP3 because of a car issue, and then wasn’t able to move into Q2. It is in moments like these that the team needs to regroup and stick together, and push each other to further improve; we must aim to execute a better weekend. Tomorrow will be challenging, but we are not letting our heads down after today’s result: we’ll be ready to do our job, and carry out a good race to allow us to recover the ground we have lost".
Valtteri Bottas also confirms this concept:
"Today’s results are very disappointing, because it seemed that we really had a chance to get into the top ten. I started to lose power on the final inlap, and then the engine stopped. Eventually we realized it was a technical problem with the fuel in the car, and we are already working to deal with this and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Unfortunately, this means that we will start at the bottom of the grid in the race, which is not where we deserved to watch our pace. But tomorrow will be a long day and, as always, the weather could add another element of unpredictability: the car felt better than yesterday, and we have a slightly better pace than previous events, so our goal will be to get the most out of it and fight as hard as possible through the field".
Zhou Guanyu also shares these feelings:
"I think we had the potential to improve our performance this weekend, but unfortunately, today was quite difficult for our team and we couldn’t maximize our chances. I didn’t have time to break in during the last free practice session because of a technical problem that the team promptly studied and faced, allowing me to get back on track before qualifying. Even there, my chances of running were limited, and I struggled to find enough grip, eventually only getting a timed lap that wasn’t enough to pass in Q2. We are obviously disappointed that we did not have a real chance to move forward, but our main goal now will be to regroup and prepare for tomorrow".
Difficult day for the French Alpine, as Esteban Ocon admits:
"It’s been a frustrating day and a missed opportunity for us in Qualifying. It’s always disappointing not to make Q3, especially as we had the pace to do so. The conditions were not easy but we had been managing it very well. In Q2, it was not an ideal start to my final push lap as I braked on the wet side of the track alongside Lance [Stroll] and then spent my lap behind Charles [Leclerc], which cost us time. There are plenty of things for us to review from today, however, I’m feeling ready to make up some ground in tomorrow’s race".
Ocon is also supported by Pierre Gasly, although he managed to access Q3:
"That was a very challenging Qualifying to manage with the varying conditions. That said, when it is like that it’s often very exciting on-track and it certainly was enjoyable at the wheel. While I’m pleased to be in Q3 again, I’m disappointed we weren’t Able to qualify any higher up than Tenth place. We know the areas where we are lacking performance and we have to keep pushing hard as a team to find improvements to our package. Tomorrow, we will give it our all. The start of the race is going to be critical to make up some places and I’m confident we can come away with points on the board".
Another team that had difficulties with unpredictable conditions is Williams, of which Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, highlighted the problems:
"Today was exceptionally difficult with mixed and varying conditions throughout the day. We timed the run on Soft tyres well in FP3; whilst this allowed us to learn quite a lot about the car, it gave us a position on the timesheet that flattered our true pace. However, both drivers were still happy with the car balance and comfortable going into qualifying. Qualifying was a rollercoaster with both Alex and Logan struggling to get a representative lap done around the showers in Q1. The red flag allowed us to reset and both showed excellent pace and composure to deliver very good laps under pressure".
"Q2 was much calmer for Alex and he was very quick in comfortably making Q3. Logan found the conditions a little more difficult and had to do his final lap on a more used set from Q1, which cost him the couple of tenths that he needed to progress. Alex was very strong on the used Soft at the beginning of Q3 but couldn't quite find the final bit of grip as the track dried. Nonetheless, it was a potentially very difficult qualifying session and we dealt with it well and have both cars in a useful position for the Grand Prix tomorrow as a result".
On the other hand, Alex Albon can be extremely happy, given his position on the grid for Sunday:
"It’s been an amazing weekend but it’s funny when you finish in Q3, with P8 and you’re disappointed. We have to be realistic but it’s been great so far. In Qualifying, the session was going quite smoothly but, as the track dried out, corner speeds picked up and track evolution came in. We started to get quite a bit of degradation through the lap, even front deg, so we need to go away and understand that but, by the time I got to Q3, I was struggling a little bit with those combined factors. We’ve been really on top of it since the start of the weekend and I got into rhythm very quickly and adapted well to the changes, so we really hit the ground running. I think we ended up where we expected to be but I think if you told us we’d be here at the beginning of the weekend, we wouldn’t believe you".
Partially satisfied with himself is also Logan Sargeant:
"For me, the first goal of this weekend was to get into Q2, and I achieved that. It was a tricky session all in all. We can’t catch a break from mixed conditions at the moment. We knew it was going to be a lot closer coming into qualifying than we saw in practice. It’s a shame that I didn’t have a new set of tyres at the end of Q2 as I think that probably cost us the chance of transferring to Q3. At the end of the day, the car was in a good place and we’re making steps in the right direction. I’m happy with the steps that I’m making this weekend. I still have plenty of steps to take which is clear to me. As long as I’m moving in the right direction that’s the positive part and we can build off that to have a good race tomorrow. It won’t be easy starting 14th with a lot of quick cars around us but we’ll do our best".
Regarding Aston Martin, everyone was convinced that more could have been done for both drivers. Fernando Alonso is disappointed:
"It's not the Qualifying we wanted in what was a challenging session in drying conditions. There is still a long race ahead of us tomorrow and our Sunday pace is normally a strong point of this car. We still achieved another Q3 result, but we need to keep understanding our car at different circuits. The weather tomorrow may also be changeable, as it was today, so we need to remain focused and see what we can do in race conditions".
Lance Stroll thinks the same:
"I think more was possible in Qualifying today. The red flag forced us to run a third set of tyres in Q1, which meant we didn't have a new set in Q2 and that put us on the back foot in comparison to others. It's a long race tomorrow and the AMR23 is feeling good, so I'll be doing my best to fight through the pack and put on a good show for the home fans".
Team Principal Mike Krack agrees with his drivers:
"One of the most challenging Qualifying sessions of the year so far with a drying track, the constant threat of rain, and a red flag just before the end of Q1. Overall we missed the absolute pace to be fighting for the top positions today so we need to review things, understand where we can find more performance, and take those learnings going forward. We will try and come back stronger tomorrow in front of the passionate British fans who will be out in force".
Nothing to do for the Alpha Tauri duo, with Yuki Tsunoda admitting to be frustrated for the result:
"I ended up very close to Q2 again, it’s frustrating and a shame, but I’m happy with my performance. Track evolution was high and almost fully dry in the end, but the team did a good job with the strategy. We tried many different things with the new upgrade, and compared to yesterday, the car felt better. I feel more support in the places I need, especially in the low-speed Corners, and more rotation in the high-speed Corners, which we were aiming for. There is room for improvement, but we’re still trying to understand the car’s behaviour more. I reset myself and do whatever I can tomorrow to extract as much performance from the car and finish as high as possible".
Also Nyck de Vries, his teammate, agrees with him:
"Today's qualifying was a very tricky session, with changing conditions as the rain was coming. We did a decent lap at the beginning of qualifying, but towards the end, when it became a one-lap shootout, my tyres were very cold. I didn’t have the confidence and temperature to push and attack as required, making a mistake in the last corner where I out braked myself and went deep, losing a lot of time there. During the session, we were more competitive and in the mix, so I feel our final lap wasn't entirely representative. In these changing conditions, we maybe didn’t put it together when it mattered. We did some long runs in practice, but it’s certainly not going to be easy tomorrow. A big part of the track is high-speed, so it’s difficult to overtake and follow, so a little rain is welcome because it might bring some opportunities".
As for Mercedes, both drivers seem to be satisfied with the results earned with the particularly changeable and complex conditions, with George Russell commenting:
"It was an exciting session; I really enjoy these conditions. I’m always confident that I can do a good job and put the laps in when needed. It was Stressful at times, but I felt comfortable with our pace in Q1 and Q2. My last lap in Q3 was strong, but it was frustrating to see how close we were to being a couple of positions further forward. I was a little bit disappointed not to achieve this but we’re in a decent place for tomorrow. The Team did a good job of improving the car overnight and I’m excited to see what we can do in the Grand Prix. We believe we have stronger race pace than on the single lap, so I’m confident that we can move forward. Once again, the energy from the fans today has been amazing. You really feel the support from the stands and it’s incredible to see how they are backing the Team and us as drivers. It’s a special weekend and we can hopefully do a good job tomorrow and challenge for the podium".
Lewis Hamilton, despite a bit of frustration, is happy too:
"We weren’t quite quick enough today unfortunately. The conditions were tricky out there but there was still an element of fun to it, as we tried to get on top of the tyres. There were some moments where it looked like we had the potential to challenge further forward, but then we Fell back a little. We seem to struggle on the single lap more than we do on the race pace, so we will see what we can do tomorrow. If we can progress forward, then that would be amazing. Hopefully we can put some pressure on the cars ahead and get into a battle with them".
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of Mercedes, agrees:
"It was an interesting session today, with the gap between P2 and P7 only a few tenths. We were more competitive than we thought we might be in terms of lap time, and the gap to the front-row is small. That is not an excuse though and P6 and P7 are the positions we are in. The question for us now is how much pace differential you need in order to overtake. There are several cars ahead of us but we're hopeful we can make some good progress. Whilst it's frustrating in one sense, it's also encouraging to see the lap time gains that others have found, including McLaren recently. It's a good example of how you can add performance during the season. We've been able to do so ourselves and we're focused on continuing to do that. This will help us compete on both Saturday and Sunday, and ultimately close the gap to the front".
Morale is down at Haas, with Kevin Magnussen commenting:
"It just doesn’t seem to be my year this one so far, but this is where you show experience, stay cool and keep fighting. Everything switched off in the car, I had no power steering, nothing, I don’t know what it was in Q1. Until that point it felt good compared to the rest of the weekend, I was on a decent lap to improve there - on the one I stopped. There was still time on the clock so I don’t know if that would have been the last one".
He is followed by Nico Hulkenberg:
"It was tricky obviously with the damp and wet patches, it’s quite Sketchy, and it can go wrong but it didn’t. I think it was a good qualifying and I feel like I squeezed everything out of it. It was close with Alpine but not having DRS Actually hurt us quite a bit. I think we’re a bit more draggy and have more downforce than other cars, so missing DRS wasn’t ideal for us".
Guenther Steiner, Haas’ Team Principal, notes how complicated the conditions were:
"Due to the changing conditions, it was very difficult to read into FP3. We did what we wanted to do but we took no conclusions from it because of the variable conditions, between the weather, track surface, and everything else. We knew that though and we tried a few things, and they went well. We just missed out on Q3 in qualifying, just by a bit, as Nico was very close behind a car in the very fast sector and obviously that’s not good, especially with our car. With Kevin, we had an issue with the oil system, we lost all the oil, but hopefully the engine isn’t damaged".
On Sunday, July 9, 2023, the threat of rain seems far away, with the clouds that have left room for a blue and sunny sky above the Silverstone circuit. The starting order sees Max Verstappen in the pole position, followed by the two McLarens of Norris e Piastri, who did an outstanding qualifying session. Follow Leclerc’s and Sainz’ Ferraris, Russell, Hamilton, a surprising Alex Albon and Alonso. Closes the top ten Gasly’s Alpine. Most drivers on the grid have opted for medium tyres, with Hulkenberg and Bottas going for hards, while Russell, Ocon, Tsunoda and De Vries chosing softs. When the lights go out, the grandstanding lights up with screams and applauses as Lando Norris manages to go past Verstappen for the lead into Turn 1. The reigning world champion now has to cover also from Piastri coming behind, while after them there is Leclerc, followed by Russell, Sainz, Alonso and Hamilton, who ran wide and lost a place at Village, and then Albon. Verstappen remains in the gap of a second from Norris, and as soon as he can benefit from the DRS on lap 5, easily passes the Briton at the Brooklands reclaiming the first position.
Just some positions behind, Russell attacks Leclerc at Stowe, with the Monegasque braking aggressively and managing to keep the position, but still seeing in the rear-view mirror the Mercedes very close. Meanwhile Hamilton overtakes Alonso, regaining the seventh position. The first pit stop of the day is from Hulkenberg, who lost a front wing endplate after contact with Checo Perez. The Red Bull driver is attempting a climb through the field having started from the fifteenth position. On lap 10, Ocon's Alpine is forced to retire the car for an hydraulic leak, prematurely ending its race. Verstappen starts increasing the gap from the McLarens, pushing his Red Bull to a three seconds gap. His teammate Perez instead makes a move on Stroll and then Albon, sitting now in 10th. On lap 19, Leclerc is called to the pits to put on a set of hards. It seems that Ferrari is going for a complete alternate strategy compared to the rest of the grid, one stop, probably in order to avoid a possible undercut from Russell. The Monegasque rejoins the track 12th behind Stroll, from whom he manages to take the position a few laps later. The real pit stop action begins on Lap 27 with Carlos Sainz swapping for hards, followed by Russell going for mediums and Perez for softs. Just few laps later also Piastri stops for hards. Russell, returned on track behind Leclerc, tries his move at the outside of Turn 5 and manages to take the Monegasque’s position. On lap 33 a Virtual Safety Car is deployed due to Kevin Magnussen’s smoking Haas. Verstappen, Norris, Hamilton, Alonso and Albon all still yet to stop, but only the latter is in an advantaged position to pit immediately. Just a lap later, the real Safety Car goes out on track and most of the drivers are called to the box opting for different tyres strategies: Verstappen, Hamilton and Alonso puts on softs, Norris goes for hards and Leclerc also does a second stop and switches to mediums. During the Safety Car regime, after all the stops, the order in the top 10 is: Verstappen, Norris, Hamilton, Piastri, Russell, Alonso, Sainz, Perez, Albon and Leclerc.
At the end of lap 38, the Safety Car returns into the pits with Verstappen perfectly managing the restart, while Hamilton goes on the hunt for Norris. A battle between the two Brits takes the spectators on the edge of their seat, seeing their home drivers giving a great show. In the back, Piastri holds the position on Russell, with Alonso, Sainz, Perez, Albon and Leclerc following. Perez tries his move successfully on Sainz, then going for the Aston Martin into Stowe and taking the sixth position. At the same time, Gasly says that Stroll must return to the eleventh position after a move on him around the outside of Stowe, but the stewards decide for no further action against the Aston Martin driver. However, from a further contact between the two, the Alpine reports suspension damage, forcing Gasly to retire. In this case, Stroll is given a five-second penalty. As we approach the end of the race, Verstappen continues to increase the distance from Norris, crossing the finish line four seconds ahead. It’s the eighth win of the season for the unstoppable Red Bull driver, which also marks the first British GP win for the team since 2012. Second place goes to Norris followed by Hamilton. Piastri, just a step from his first podium in F1, closes in fourth place. Behind him Russell, Perez and Alonso, with Albon, Leclerc and Sainz closing the top 10. Sargeant does his personal best finishing 11th, then comes Bottas, Hulkenberg and Stroll ending up 14th, after the penalty. Zhou closes his race 15th after a third stop due to a tear-off stuck in his brake duct, with Tsunoda and De Vries the last drivers to cross the line in 16th and 17th respectively. Yuki Tsunoda’s race has been a difficult one, having struggled to catch the right pace. Despite this, the strategy has been on point and the driver is happy of his performance and the direction they are taking as a team:
"It was a difficult race today. The strategy was ok, but I didn’t have the pace throughout. We did improve in the high-speed, but today the struggle was more towards the low-speed. There are still a number of things we need to improve on and fix for the future, but as for myself, I’m happy with my performance; I did all I could do. The team and I are working in the same direction, so I'm looking forward to the future and we’ll push together to develop our package. We’ll keep fighting strong".
Nyck de Vries tries to focus on the positive aspects, aware of the work the team and him is in need to do to be more competitive:
"It was a decent race. We did a very competitive first stint on the soft compound, being able to extend it longer than we anticipated while remaining competitive. It’s unfortunate that we missed out on the Virtual Safety Car opportunity after that. The first laps on the hard compound were good too, but the last stint was very difficult. The tyres this week have been sensitive temperature wise because of the track, so we need to look into our data. As a whole, we're not where we want to be, and we're not competitive enough, but I’m taking the positives and I think the majority of the race was good".
Jody Egginton, AlphaTauri’s Technical Director, remarks the difficulty of the race and the importance of the future updates:
"It was a very difficult race today, with neither car having enough pace to move forwards beyond fighting with the Haas and Alfa Romeo cars. The race strategy was ok, with our cars split across the hard and medium compound for the second stint, then - like the majority of runners - moving to the soft under the Safety Car period. However, at no point were we able to take advantage. The aero update we have introduced here appears to be broadly in line with expectations, but it has not been enough to move us forward in Silverstone. The further planned aero update for Hungary will be an important step to start addressing this, to get back on track towards achieving our objectives".
Esteban Ocon, whose race ended prematurely due to a hydraulic leak on the car, shows his disappointment:
"It's not been our weekend and that is summed up by our race today. We had a decent start to the race, but it was over early for us with a hydraulic leak on the car. In the end, as a team, we did not score any points which is extremely disappointing. We need to regroup and react, especially given the leap some of our competitors have made over the last couple of races. Overall, we probably did not maximise the potential of the car this weekend so there are definitely many things to review to see how we can come back stronger. Budapest is next, one of my favourite tracks with some great memories, so we hope to bounce back and have a strong result".
Pierre Gasly shares the same fate of his teammate, having to retire after a collision with Stroll. The French driver expresses his delusion:
"It really seems we're on the wrong side of some things at the moment, especially luck. I was having a strong race, closely behind Fernando [Alonso], and we really should have been in the fight with him at the end of the race. Unfortunately, the timing of the Safety Car, just after my pit-stop, meant we fell back outside of the points. And then, while fighting to climb back into the top ten, our race was over through an incident beyond my control when Lance [Stroll] hit me and damaged my suspension. As a team we have a lot of things to work on to keep taking the fight to our rivals. We will stick together as a team, regroup, and go to Budapest with some confidence for a better result".
Alpine’s Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer says that the team leaves Silverstone with a bad feeling and comments on the causes of the both drivers’ retirements:
"It's always a bitter feeling when you leave a Grand Prix without scoring points; especially our home race for Enstone at Silverstone. Esteban retired with a hydraulic leak - a frustrating issue which we must resolve. It meant Esteban was not able to show his hand in the race, which is made even more disappointing given how the race played out. Pierre was extremely unfortunate. He made a great start from tenth and was well in the fight for a good result. The Safety Car was ill-timed for him, seconds after his pit-stop, which meant a handful of cars were able to benefit from a free-stop to jump Pierre. He made another good getaway at the Safety Car restart to climb his way towards the points but was twice unfortunate with Stroll's double infringement; the second of which led to Stroll hitting Pierre causing suspension damage and bringing an early end to our race. It's certainly not been our weekend but we must remain confident in our ability to bounce back in Budapest".
Lewis Hamilton is very glad of seeing the car improving after a difficult start of the season and shows his happiness for being back on the podium at his home race:
"The Safety Car came at a beneficial moment for us but ultimately, that was the plan starting on the Medium tyre. We wanted to go long, and we did; it came at the right time, and we made some gains. For us to get on the podium is huge. It's been an up-and-down season and we've still got a lot of work to do with our car. We've got strengths with it, particularly our long run. George had a great stint on the Soft tyre and mine on the Medium was really good too. As soon as we can improve the rear end we will be on our way. We just need to hold on to the good bits and add a few others. Finally, the support from the fans has been incredible and it gets better each and every year. I don't know how that is possible as it's the pinnacle! The energy that everyone brings is phenomenal. Once again, Silverstone put on an amazing show".
George Russell expresses his feelings about the race, quite happy and satisfied of the result:
"We wanted to be aggressive today and we had the chance to split the strategies. The Soft tyre felt really strong in that first stint but unfortunately, it was very difficult to overtake Leclerc. There was some questionable defending at points but in the end, I managed to get past. Having stopped for the Medium tyre, it was unfortunate timing with the Safety Car. Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes against you. Ultimately though, we only lost one position and without it, I still wouldn't have ended up on the podium. It didn't change a huge amount for my race, and we can take the positives that for the Team, it is good points in the Constructors' Championship".
Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ Team Principal & CEO, describes the day as solid and positive, compared to the other session of the weekend:
"We've performed well today compared to in Qualifying. We've gained some points on our closest competitors in the Constructors' Championship, so we can say it's a solid day. P3 and P5 is OK, but no more than solid. I see the positives from this weekend though. Whilst podiums are good, it's more important to see that the car has potential, and our eyes are on closing the gap to the very front. We wanted to have an offset between the two cars today and the Soft tyre provided a good getaway from the line. It also looked quite resilient on Friday, and it proved even more so today. We were surprised to see how long it went. After the restart, Lewis' tyres went off and the McLarens were able to hold us behind. Their resurgence is good to see. If you make the right decisions, you can clearly make a large step. It is good for the sport that if you do the right things then you can move forward. Today, they had a better car, and you could see particularly in the closing stages on the Hard tyre just how strong they were".
Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, is on the same line of thought of Wolff, underling that the team will keep working in order to close the gap to who’s ahead.
"It was great to get a car on the podium today. We needed the Safety Car to make that, but we were in the right position with one car to take advantage of it. Overall, it's been a solid day for the team and drivers. We've managed to out-score both Ferrari and Aston Martin, which is good for the Constructors' Championship. McLaren have shown that they are podium contenders; they were the second quickest team this weekend, which is impressive when you consider where they were earlier in the season. We've got a good platform to build on. We know the areas that we need to improve, but the field is so tight. Where we are racing, a couple of tenths can be the difference between a podium and the back end of the points. We know we need to continuing improving and everyone in Brackley and Brixworth is working hard to do just that".
It wasn’t Fernando Alonso weekend: starting the season on high, today’s result is clearly something to dig into in order to come back to a better level of performance:
"We maximised the race today and took seventh place in a difficult weekend for the team. I think we managed our strategy well and made the right calls during the race. We need to analyse the weekend as a whole, but we aren't worried about this result. We've been performing better than expected so far in 2023 and it's a long season. Only two races ago we were fighting for the win and there will be more ups and downs during this season. It was great to be racing here at Silverstone and seeing the level of support there is for Aston Martin. Let's see if we can return to a better level of performance in Hungary".
Also his teammate Lance Stroll had not a great weekend:
"It just wasn't our day today. As we expected, the characteristics of this circuit didn't quite suit the AMR23, and we struggled for pace out there. On a couple of occasions I was forced wide by Pierre [Gasly] and we made contact the second time; we'll check this evening whether that caused any damage to the car. It's been a tough weekend but our focus now shifts to Hungary - a circuit that should suit our car - where we'll be pushing hard for a better result".
Mike Krack, Aston martin’s Team Principal, comments both drivers’ race:
"To come away from our home race at Silverstone with six points is a reasonable return from a weekend where we were lacking the pace to compete at the front. Fernando's race was pretty straightforward, and we optimised the timing of his switch to the Soft tyres under the Safety Car. Today was a case of damage limitation and Fernando had to defend hard in the closing stages to secure seventh place. Lance raced hard today. He was pushing hard to get into the top 10 in the final stages, but the contact with Pierre [Gasly] ultimately dropped him down the final order. Today's result has consolidated our third place in the Championship and we increased our advantage over Ferrari. We will work hard as a team to return to a more competitive weekend in Budapest in a couple of weeks".
Dave Robson, Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, is really satisfied with the performance of both cars on the track, explains the different strategy adopted for the two drivers:
"The car worked well today and both drivers were excellent. Alex showed great skill in attack and defence whilst also managing his tyres very well. Logan too showed good race craft and was able to build on his race in Austria to deliver another impressive performance. It is frustrating for him to finish 11th, but his first Formula 1 Championship point is getting ever closer. The start of the race was tricky with the showers passing to the west of the circuit leading to a few drops of rain and a gusty wind. Driving was difficult during this period and tyre degradation appeared high. However, once the weather calmed down, we were able to show good pace and measure the true tyre degradation. The Pirelli's held up very well such that a 1-stop race using Soft and Medium tyres was possible. The safety car further improved the competitiveness of this strategy and helped the drivers who chose to avoid the Hard tyre for their final stint. This allowed Alex to complete a brilliant pass on [Carlos] Sainz to take an excellent 8th place. Some characteristic defensive driving on the final lap ensured that he held the place against an attacking [Charles] Leclerc. The team has worked very hard to deliver an effective upgrade package to the car. The first parts of that package arrived in Canada and the new front wing debuted this weekend on Alex's car. The points that we have scored over recent events is testament to that effort and expertise".
Alex Albon is really pleased of his weekend, even though the race turned out to be quite tricky:
"It was a great weekend. When you think about the speed of the car, P8 this week is the worst position from all of our sessions this weekend. We expected the race to be a bit more difficult with Fernando [Alonso] and Checo [Perez] behind us. I struggled a little at the start as I didn't have much grip. Once I was in the rhythm of the race, we were ok, we actually felt quite good with the car. The Safety Car came out at a perfect time. The Ferraris were on the hard compounds and I was able to get past Carlos [Sainz]. It was a tricky race. I had better pace than Fernando which was a bit of a surprise but then Charles [Leclerc] was coming quite quickly at the end. It was a race of one eye forward and one eye back which became a bit of a dog fight. I wouldn't have wanted that race to last one more lap. It's quite clear that tracks where there's a bit lower downforce and a lot of full throttle time, that's all us. It's also important that the track remains quite cool which today the track temp was dropping at the end of the race which made us a bit more competitive. We're now P7 in the Constructors' Championship tied with Haas, so we're in a very good place. The points aren't always available so we need to make sure that in the few races where we can score points, we capitalise on them".
Logan Sargeant is happy about how the things are turning out for him, having gained more feeling and confidence with the car and improved his performance:
"I'm pleased with the last two weekends. The progression has been good, and I feel like I'm getting more comfortable. I'm starting to drive the car the way it actually needs to be driven. It's all coming to me. The team has been great in supporting me, pushing me and trying to help me out as much as they can. We had a great car today. It was the best race I've felt all season in terms of car performance as well as pace. A bit unlucky when the Safety Car came out one lap after I pitted, that hurt a little bit. It's still a good day and to have Alex score points for the team is amazing and shows we have a car that can fight".
McLaren driver Lando Norris doesn’t hide his enthusiasm for the podium and takes a moment to thank the team for the outstanding work they did on the car and the fans for showing such an amazing support:
"First of all, I just want to say a big thanks to the whole team: they've done an amazing job and none of this would be possible without the hard work that they've been putting in. It was an amazing fight with Lewis, to hold him off, and I brought the fight to Max for as long as possible. It's a long, lonely race when you're just in the middle but it's amazing to be on the podium at my home race".
"The whole in-lap I was just trying to wave to everyone. A big thanks to all the British fans out here supporting all of me and the whole team. We should have have P2 and P3. Oscar did an amazing job all weekend, and he should have been P3 today without the Safety Car, so a shame, he deserved it. Greast result at Silverstone, we'll keep pushing forward from here as a team".
Rookie Oscar Piastri shows his pure happiness over the race:
"P4, what a result! Of course it was slightly frustrating with the Safety Car, I thought we were on for a podium for a very, very long time in that race, so it hurts a little bit - but I'm very, very happy that the hurt is for a podium. Given where we started this year, I'm very, very happy. Awesome result for the whole team. It was amazing to be running back at the front again and I can't wait for more".
Andrea Stella, McLaren’s Team Principal, is satisfied of the improvements the MCL60 has showed this weekend and thanks the team for the hard work:
"This is a great team result at the British Grand Prix. It comes at the end of a very strong weekend for the MCL60, in which we've been able to compete at the top on both single-lap pace during qualifying, and now across race stints also. We've struggled in the past with the latter but today it allowed us to capitalise on an excellent performance yesterday. It's a real shame for Oscar, he should have been on the podium but the timing of the Safety Car meant that we lost a position and he finished fourth - but that takes nothing away from the strong weekend he's had and the incredible race he drove. I'm delighted for Lando. He got to enjoy a beautiful moment in front of his home crowd after an excellent performance. My final thoughts are for everyone who made this happen. The men and women at McLaren have worked very hard to turn the situation around this year and get us into this position, and our fans have supported us even when we've been struggling. This result is for all of them. I hope we can have more days like this in the future".
Kevin Magnussen, who had an engine issue during the race and retired, feels there is still some work to do:
"There was an issue yesterday in qualifying and then today I didn’t finish with another engine issue - so not the best weekend for us. It’s a shame of course, but it’s not like we were in a point scoring position. I think tire degradation wise it was better than we expected. We have some work to do to find some more pace, but we just need to get our heads down, work hard, and keep pushing".
Nico Hulkenberg shows frustration over his race, having had a contact with Perez that compromised the course of it:
"The race was badly impacted early on when Checo (Perez) came through on the exit of Turn 4 and we made contact. A big piece of the front wing fell off one lap later and that forced us to pit early, we had to change the front wing and that cost a lot of time, and we were just behind. The safety car got us back onto the train of cars but then in traffic, we didn’t have enough pace to come through".
Guenther Steiner, Haas’ Team Principal, remarks his disappointment for today’s race:
"It’s been a very disappointing weekend. We just didn’t have the pace and we’ve now had our third engine failure in three races as well - that doesn’t help us. We have to regroup and see how we move forward from here because we need to get out of this hole. Everybody will be working on it obviously, but today was simply not a good day".
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc shows frustration over his race:
"We lacked pace today and it was a tough race. We stopped early and lost some positions as I struggled to get a good rhythm on the Hards. Then we stopped again, for a new set of Mediums, and I made up a couple of positions at the restart, but then got stuck in a DRS train behind Alex (Albon). We have some things to review, but our main focus will be to work on our race trim".
Also Carlos Sainz had a really challenging race, struggling with the performance of his car:
"It was a difficult race. We were not as quick as expected and as a consequence we were unable to fight with the cars ahead. I managed to extend the stint with the Medium tyres and with the Hard I was fast. Unfortunately, the Safety Car came out at the worst possible time. I did my best at the restart, but battling on old Hards against other cars with fresher tyres is very difficult here. I feel that better results have been slipping away from us lately, but we’ll keep working and pushing relentlessly, starting from the next race in Hungary".
Frédéric Vasseur, Ferrari’s team principal, comments the tyres’ choices and strategies adopted:
"Our plan was to do a one-stop race, running Medium then Hard. We pitted both drivers before the Safety Car, which definitely put us in a bad situation. However, we cannot just blame this episode to explain our finishing positions. The start of the issue with us was on Friday when Charles wasn’t able to run in FP2 and so we only had a long run on the Soft from which we had concerns about degradation. That’s why we decided to go with Medium-Hard, which proved to be too conservative a choice as the degradation was lower than expected. That is an important lesson for us. We could have done a much better job here in Silverstone with the package that we have now. Next race will be Hungary, on a very different kind of track with hotter temperatures and being able to adapt the car package to the various tracks coming up will be a crucial element. We are continuing to develop the car and will have new parts soon but it’s so tight between P2 and P10 that the smallest mishap makes a big difference".
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Alfa Romeo Team Representative, is quite satisfied of today’s performance, aware of having made a step forward but still believing there is a lot of work to do and progress to make.
"Today, we must pay tribute to our team and drivers for the job done, in a race that wasn’t set to be easy for us: overall, we have recovered ten positions, eight with Valtteri and two with Zhou, as proof that if we carry out a perfect race, we can get into the fight for points. Yesterday was not our day, and of course, starting from the back is never easy, but today we showed an improvement in the race pace compared to previous events, which gives us confidence for the next two races before the summer break. There, our target will be to further optimise our new package, in order to be competitive from Friday onwards and recover positions in the Constructors’ Championship. Valtteri did a solid race today, executing a flawless performance: starting from the back of the grid on hard tyres, which also required so me management in the first laps. Zhou’s race has been more unfortunate: we had to pit him an extra time to remove a tear-off from his brake duct, which made him lose a position and eventually kept him from further progressing through the field. We come back from Silverstone aware that a step has been made in terms of performance through the upgrades we have brought, although the final positions haven’t reflected it. What we have learned from this weekend is that each and everyone of us needs to execute every race to the very best and that there is no room for mistakes. Moving forward, this will be our focus, in order to consistently remain in the fight for points".
Valtteri Bottas, who started from P20, knows he had a difficult race ahead but is pleased with how everything went:
"I think, taking into consideration where we were starting from, we maximised everything we had today. The Virtual Safety Car and the Safety Car both came out in a favourable moment for us, allowing us to pit and save some time. Of course, it is never easy when starting P20, but we gave it all and got the best out of our package. The upgrades we brought here this weekend allowed us to make a slight step forward, but of course, there is still some work to do: other teams brought new parts as well, and their improvement has been evident. Over the few weeks before Budapest, all of our focus will go into unlocking their full potential, in order to come back in competitive form for the final two races before the summer break".
On the other side, Zhou Guanyu isn’t quite satisfied, as he comments:
"Overall, I think this weekend just hasn’t been our lucky one. The Safety Car came out when I had already pitted, and that forced me to change again to avoid having to stay at the back on hard tyres".
"On top of that, unfortunately, I got a tear-off stuck in my brake duct, once again, and that pretty much compromised my race as we had to pass through the pits for the third time and get it removed. As per the upgrades we brought this weekend, I reckon there’s more work to be done: other teams brought important packages through, and that allowed them to make a good leap forward. I think the potential for us is there, but we definitely will need to work on the new aero package to properly obtain that extra performance we need to get back in the mix for points".
Max Verstappen’s race wasn’t straightforward, having to battle after a not great start against Lando Norris’ McLaren. But the Dutch still managed to recover and win:
"I'm very happy that we've won here again, 11 wins in a row for the Team is pretty incredible, the whole Team can be proud of that. It definitely wasn't straightforward today though, we had a bad start which made it more exciting for the fans, but we definitely need to look into that improve on it. Lando and Oscar were super quick at the start so it took a few laps to pass them and to start to pull a gap. The competitors behind us were pushing hard and closing the gap so we need to try and find a little bit more. Overall though, a very nice Team win and hopefully we can carry the form to Budapest".
Sergio Perez struggled a lot today, but is confident that through some hard work he can overcome the issues he is facing:
"I gave it my all today but I was expecting a bit more. We had a bad start and then I got stuck with Esteban Ocon, had to go wide and ended up losing a few positions at the start. From there on I made progress slowly and recovered a few places, but it took me longer to come through the field than I would have liked. We also pitted a few laps before the safety car which was unfortunate. Tomorrow, I am going to be working with the Team in the simulator. We have some ideas on what we can improve on and I am confident that this will help us work through it. I have full support from the team, I'm mentally very strong and I know that I will overcome these issues and turn around my season. The pace is there and I can still get back to where I should be. I am looking forward to Hungary and getting back on good form".
Christian Horner, Red Bull’s CEO and Team Principal, remarks the milestone that the team has achieved today, then comments the race of both drivers:
"The first British GP win for the Team since 2012, Max's second win at Silverstone and our 11th win in a row makes this a very special victory; but not without its challenges. We had expected it to be a medium hard race but with the performance of George on the softs, we started to consider our strategy. Then with the safety car in the final quarter, we felt that the soft tyre would give Max the best opportunity to break the DRS effect and he very quickly put two seconds between himself and the pack. From there it was a case of managing the rest of the race and once again, Max more than rose to the occasion. Equally, Checo found fine form today. Some of his moves in the race exemplify exactly how skilful he is as a driver, particularly on Carlos into Stowe and his pace in the last stint meant he was right there. It's frustrating for him that he has had to fight back after qualifying in recent races, but he is finding his form and will find it further in Budapest".
Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director, comments how the tyres have performed during the race:
"First of all, well done to the amazing crowd at Silverstone: 480.000 is an impressive record, a sign of the incredible popularity Formula 1 is experiencing right now. From a tyre point of view, this weekend delivered interesting answers. The introduction of the new construction went according to plan and initial analysis of the data is in line with our expectations. The feeling that all three compounds could be used in the race was confirmed this afternoon. Certainly, the considerably cooler temperatures when compared to Friday allowed for the Soft to be pushed harder for longer. But apart from that, the fact that all three compounds were valid choices meant the teams could choose the tyre combination that best suited their cars. Finally, a word about degradation, which was lower than expected for all three compounds, even though this track is one of the toughest on tyres. It meant the teams were able to extend their stints without any significant drop off in performance".
Now, the appointment is at the Hungaroring, where on the weekend 21-23 July will be held the Hungarian Grand Prix.